Effingham At The Crossroads


I went looking for the most popular tourist towns in each state today.   Effingham came up for Illinois.  I just had to check it out and see why.  It is very close to where my brother lived in central Illinois. That is certainly not a name that stands out for most of us, seniors, like Chicago, Springfield, Aurora or Rockford.

Effingham is located right in the heart of central Illinois where Interstates 57 and 70 intersect.. Some argue that Effingham is named after Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Effingham, who resigned his commission as general in the British army in 1775, refusing to serve in the war against the Colonies.This contention is unsubstantiated. The name is Anglo-Saxon for “Effa’s house“. Just figured you senior historians would find that fact of interest.


The rather small town of just over 12,000 bills itself as “The Crossroads of Opportunity” because of the intersections of major Interstate highways running both east and west and north and south.

For a small town, Effingham has its amenities and senior visitors find plenty to do. A big draw in town is the Mid America Motorworks, My Garage Museum. Corvettes, Volkswagens, Herbie, and Fin McMissile are the highlights. Actually, only the Herbie was real (several actual Herbies from various Disney movies) but the Fin McMissile was just a million dollar lookalike.


Visitors find the Cross at the Crossroads to be quite memorable as the tallest in the world at 198 feet tall and 113 feet wide, forged out of over 180 tons of steel anchored in untold fathoms of cement. The Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association came into existence as the result of a desire to promote interpretive culture and history.

 Seniors Find Themselves In The Center Of A Crater

An interesting fact is a circular crater 200 to 210 miles in diameter, and centered on Effingham Illinois. The crater covers the southern half of Illinois, and part of Indiana, with St Louis on the West South West side. Must have been a real big HIT eons of time ago.

The town is loaded with history. Folks started making their way to Effingham, first called Broughton, in the early 1800s when settlers moving west along the Old Cumberland Trail stopped to work in the rich soil along the Little Wabash River.


The trail became The National Road which is now recognized as a Scenic Byway. In the mid-1800s, the new railroad brought with it a “boom” of not only new people and homes, but also new business.

Effingham is located some 200 miles from Chicago, due south on I-57, just far enough away for the locals to speak with a soft twang (whatever that is!)

For senior oenophiles, the Tuscan Hills Winery is located in Effingham  and for foodies, John Boos and Company is the oldest industry in Effingham, Illinois and has been in business continuously since 1887.

Spend some quality time and you too will fall in love with Effingham. jeb


  1. Jodi says:

    Thank you for the kind words on Effingham. We truly are a great stop for all – including senior citizens! We also have a great museum, the Effingham County Courthouse Museum open on Tuesdays and Saturdays that is rich in Effingham history.

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